Central Connecticut wins NEC crown for tourney berth
New Britain, CT (Sports Network) – Javier Mojica scored 25 points and pulled
down 10 rebounds as top-seeded Central Connecticut State claimed the Northeast
Conference title with a 74-70 victory over second-seeded Sacred Heart.
Tristan Blackwood netted 21 points and dished out five assists for the Blue
Devils (22-11), who receive an automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Jemino Sobers added 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Central Connecticut
State, which won the NEC title for the third time in seven years (2000, 2002).
The Blue Devils shot 44 percent in the contest.
Joey Henley posted 22 points with seven boards for the Pioneers (18-14), who
had a six-game winning streak halted. Jarrid Frye donated 16 points, while
Ryan Luke had 12 points in defeat.
Sacred Heart, which also finished 44 percent shooting from the floor, dropped
all three decisions to the Blue Devils this season.
Things remained tight during a nip-and-tuck first half with Drew Shubik’s
layup giving Sacred Heart a 34-33 edge at the break.
The Pioneers opened the second with an 8-0 run for a nine-point advantage and
continued to stay on top until the Blue Devils finally took a 67-66 lead on
Dannie Powell’s layup with 2:58 left.
Then, after Henley hit one of his own, Mojica nailed a three-pointer and
Sobers drilled a jumper to put CCSU up 72-68 with 47 seconds remaining.
The Blue Devils shot 48 percent from three-point range, while Sacred Heart
converted 29 percent from long range…CCSU outrebounded SHU, 44-30…CCSU
leads the all-time series, 26-11.